The role of positive relationship events in romantic attachment avoidance

Date
2022-07-28
Advisor
Supervisor
Co-Advisor
Co-Supervisor
Instructor
Source Title
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Print ISSN
Electronic ISSN
1939-1315
Publisher
American Psychological Association
Volume
Issue
Pages
1 - 14
Language
English
Type
Article
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Series
Abstract

Motivated by the Attachment Security Enhancement Model (Arriaga et al., 2018), the present research investigated the associations between positive relationship experiences and romantic attachment avoidance in three dyadic studies that combined multiple methods, including daily diaries, laboratory observations, and longitudinal follow-ups. Frequency of daily positive relationship events (but not external positive events) during a 21-day diary period predicted declines in romantic attachment avoidance (but not anxiety) from pre to post-diary in fledgling couples (Study 1) and newlyweds (Study 2). Video-recorded discussions of fledgling couples’ shared positive experiences revealed that behaviors validating the relationship (but not simply showing conversational interest) predicted lagged declines in romantic attachment avoidance (but not anxiety) over 1 month (Study 3). The associations were mediated by positive affect during the diary period in Studies 1 and 2, and by changes in positive affect from pre to post-discussion in Study 3. Positive relationship experiences did not significantly interact with time in predicting romantic avoidance over a 1-year follow-up with quarterly assessments of attachment orientations in Study 1, over an 8-month follow-up with monthly assessments in Study 2, or over a 2-month follow-up with monthly assessments in Study 3. Altogether, these studies provide one of the most comprehensive tests of how positive relationship experiences in nondistressing contexts are linked to romantic attachment.

Course
Other identifiers
Book Title
Keywords
Attachment avoidance, Attachment change, Attachment security enhancement model, Positive affect, Positive relationship events
Citation
Published Version (Please cite this version)